Plasmons can be thought of as waves of electrons in a metal surface. More specifically, plasmons are charge density oscillations in a metal or other conductive materials. A light incident on a metal surface can generate plasmons similar to how wind incident on water can generate waves. Light can create plasmons, and the oscillating charges of plasmons can also generate light. The plasmonic-optical interactions give rise to interesting physics at the nanoscale. See also: What is a Plasmon?

Nano-optics or nanophotonics is the study of light on the nanoscale. Typically visible light is limited by the diffraction limit and cannot be focused down to sizes smaller that about half the wavelength of visible light, less than hundreds of nanometers. Nano-optics deals with ways to overcome this diffraction limit in order to manipulate light at scales that are smaller than 100 nm. Plasmonics is one area of nano-optics. Plasmonic nanostructures can focus light to regions that can be less than 10 nm! Additionally, focusing light to such a small, highly-localized volume also generate extremely large optical enhancements in this nanoscale region. These enhancements can be used for applications including single molecule detectors [1], enhanced spectroscopies [2], cancer treatment [3], and more efficient solar cells [4].

Herzog Plasmonic Nano Optics Lab

Research in the Herzog Plasmonic Nano Optics Lab consists of: See here for more information on these Research Projects and Areas.

Interested in being part of the research group? See How to join the Herzog Lab.


Aug, 2020 - Magee, French, and Furr publish work - Herzog undergraduate group members, Meredith Magee ‘22 and Miles Furr ‘21, in collaboration with Dr. French, group alumnus, publish article for virtual SPIE conference Plasmonically enhanced photobrightening using quantum dots.


July, 2020 - Herzog Elected as SPIE senior member - Dr. Herzog has been promote to a 2020 SPIE Senior Member for his many contributions to SPIE and the Optics community. SPIE Senior Members are Members of distinction honored for their professional experience, their active involvement with the optics community and SPIE, and/or significant performance that sets them apart from their peers.


Dec, 2019 - Herzog Awarded 2020 Faculty Scholarship Grant - Dr. Herzog has been awarded a Faculty Scholarship grant to support undergraduate research in nanoplasmonics at the University of Indianapolis. The grant is supported by the UIndy Office of Grants & Sponsored Programs.


Sept 17, 2019 - Desalegn published with RCS - Desalegn's work has been published with the Royal Society of Chemistry. The paper titled Gate voltage and doping effects on near-field radiation heat transfer in plasmonic heterogeneous pairs of graphene and black phosphorene was accepted in the journal RSC Advances. Well done Desalegn!


Sept 11, 2019 - Herzog's student receive internships with DOD! - Meredith Magee and Miles Furr are back on campus after completing summer internships with the Department of Defense. Meredith participated in the High-Performance Computing Internship Program through the Air Force Institute of Technology at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio; and Miles participated in the Naval Research Enterprise Internship Program at the Oceana Annex Base in Dam Neck, Virginia. Read more here.


Aug 1, 2019 - Article Published in a Nature Research journal! - An article with first-author Desalegn Debu has recently been published in npj 2D Materials and Applications, a Nature Partner Journal (npj) titled Hyperbolic plasmon-phonon dispersion on group velocity reversal and tunable spontaneous emission in graphene-ferroelectric substrate . Congrats to this accomplishment by Desalegn, and the rest of the Herzog group members for their support.


Jun 21, 2019 - Article Published - A project lead by Ahmad Darweesh has recently been published, titled Effect of incidence and sidewall taper angles on plasmonic metal–semiconductor–metal photodetector enhancements, in the Journal of the Optical Society of America B.


Principal Investigator

Joseph B. Herzog, PhD
Assistant Professor
R.B. Annis School of Engineering
University of Indianapolis

Full Bio

Email: herzogjb

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